Bible Contradictions #28: How long was the Babylonian Captivity?

Bible contradictions 28

God has a funny way of treating his “chosen people.” Apparently, the Jews were misbehaving and being ungodly. After several years of some other shenanigans in Babylon, god decided it was time to put his foot down and end the free will of the king by having him take the Jewish people captive. This was in ca. 597 BCE. First I’d like to ask the following questions: Shouldn’t god have known that his “chosen people” were going to act like brats? Couldn’t he have chosen a better, more well-behaved group of people to whom to deliver his word? Anyway, moving on.

So how long did the Babylonian Captivity last? Well, we have to look to Jeremiah 29:10 and Baruch 6:2.

In Jeremiah it is foretold that the Jews will not be able to leave Babylon for 70 years. That’s a fairly long time. It’s an almost guaranteed life sentence for most people.

In Baruch…

But wait! What’s the book of Baruch? It’s a deuterocanonical part of the apocrypha that is widely quoted in the bible. It’s also a major part of Jewish, Christian, and Catholic canon. I have linked the Catholic text above. The book of Baruch is generally considered just as infallible as the rest of the bible.

Ahem, in Baruch, we are told that the captivity will last seven generations, not merely 70 years. In order to reconcile these two disparate numbers, the Jews would’ve had to be having children at the age of ten or younger! That’s far too young, even by biblical-day standards.

Of course, they are both wrong. In “reality”* the Babylonian Exile only lasted 60 years.

*In real reality we have no idea whether or not the Babylonian Exile actually took place. It might be just another piece of bible fiction.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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26 Responses to Bible Contradictions #28: How long was the Babylonian Captivity?

  1. As usual with these posts, there is no contradiction.

    “Even to seven generations,” is an upper limit not an exact number.

    And in ancient Hebrew, 7×7 or 70 means a whole lot, so the time referred to in Jeremiah most likely is not exact.

    • Rayan Zehn says:

      I think you might need to work on your english. You are partly right, but the sentence is structured to denote that after 7 generations “I will lead you away…” The word “yet” is very important to denoting to what “after this” refers. It means “Yet after seven generations.” If the sentence stopped after “seven generations” you would be right. But you can’t ignore the last part. Basic english 101. If 70 merely means “a whole lot” then they are still both wrong since the captivity ended in 60 years, way too short a time for 7 generations.

  2. Cerberus Black says:

    Keep up the excellent work, Mr Zehn. Silence, never will see contradictions because he needs his pink unicorn.

    You will not kill.
    Then you read about many genocides commanded by said deity. Huh… But according to his hogly ness, Silence, there is no contradictions? Ha, ha!

    • The Bible makes it clear why God does what he does.

      Did the United States commit genocide when it bombed the mass murderers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan back to the Stone Age during World War II.

      Likewise, God did not commit genocide by exterminating evil.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        “God did not commit genocide by exterminating evil.”

        I did not know that god exterminated evil. So I guess it no longer exists if it’s exterminated. Thanks for clearing that up!

      • Zehn,

        By saying, “I did not know that God exterminated evil,” you are admitting to profound ignorance.

        A simple remedy would be for you to just sit down and read the Bible for yourself.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        I also thought I had read my bible. I guess these books cluttering my living room aren’t over 40 different versions of the bible. I should ask for my money back!

      • Zehn,

        You could own a 1000 Bibles and the Bible would still mean what it says.

        God exterminated evil.

        I’d give you the chapter and verse but I know that you have no interest learning what the Bible actually says.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Go ahead. I’ll post about it next 🙂

      • Zehn,

        Your homework assignment is Genesis Chapter 6 starting at verse 5.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Really? You want me to do a post about giants? That’s a very tall order for you to defend, my friend. Indeed, I stayed away from Genesis 6 (mostly) because it is so easy to prove wrong. Then again, I already did in my post about Genesis 1:6. (The firmament, aka the snow globe around the earth). Alas, I will humor you.

      • Zehn,

        VERSE 5:

        “5 And now God found that earth was full of men’s iniquities, and that the whole frame of their thought was set continually on evil;”

        You really have no interest in finding out what’s really going on, do you.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Finding out what’s really going on is my job as a political scientist. But thank you for your concern.

      • Zehn,

        Leftist aren’t scientists of any sort unless there’s such a thing as science of propaganda.

        I stuck your nose right where it needed to go and everything still went completely over your head.

        That’s some very heavy indoctrination and brainwashing you’ve got going on there.

      • Rayan Zehn says:

        Should I assume you think I’m a “leftist” then? Anyway, I’ll tackle your chapter tomorrow. I’ll even do it late night (possibly Monday), after many hours of deep reflection and examining it from a non-atheist perspective.

  3. Cerberus Black says:

    He ordered every last man, woman, child, infant, suckling, ox, sheep, camel and ass.

    Please get your facts straight.

  4. Cerberus Black says:

    Silence, you worship the god of evil.

    • Black,

      Clearly you know that because the Bible told you so.

      How does that make you any different than the people you’re criticizing?

      • Cerberus Black says:

        Wow. You really are a nitwit, aren’t you?

        Yes, the bible told us so, but that’s hard for you to defend, isn’t it? So go tight ahead and keep showing examples of your deities nonexistence.

        Speak and tell us all about it your hogly ness.

      • Cerberus Black says:

        His hogly ness said:
        “Leftists aren’t scientists of any sort unless there’s such a thing as science of propaganda.”

        Oh, I see. So now silence thinks he’s a scientist.
        Thanks for the clairification , your hogly ness.

        (1 Samuel 15:2-3)
        “Thus saith The Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite almalek , and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

        Tell me your hogly ness? No matter how you justify the actions from this mass murdering deity for an adult, for what purpose would any deity command his flock to kill a suckling infant? The unborn? To utter the cammand to kill animals?
        To completely destroy all?

        Think about that… Or can you?.

        Only an evil entity would call for the killing of innocence.

        How would a baby not yet born, or even that of an infant have any grudge or even knowledge of any malice of those that come to ruthlessly slaughter them?

        No matter what their parents and owners of said animals have done, there is simply no justification for any deity to cammand for the slaughter of innocence.

        Your deity is the personification of evil.

  5. Pingback: God kills millions because of their private thoughts (also, angels and humans get it on) | The Atheist Papers

  6. Pingback: Bible Contradictions #51: What happened to the city of Ai? | The Atheist Papers

  7. Al Berko says:

    A similar pattern happens when you talk to kids: when you promise a reward, say to buy a bicycle, you must keep it, but if you promise a punishment, you don’t have to. God (presenting himself as a father) is implicitly obligated to fulfill positive prophecies and is not obliged by negative ones.

  8. Dean W says:

    Hi nice readiing your blog

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